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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
At Their Very Best
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£3.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 9 April 2017
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on 31 March 2017
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on 6 March 2017
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on 7 August 2017
Love it
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on 1 June 2016
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on 5 May 2012
After many years with EMI, the Shadows could not agree terms for a new contract with that record company, so formed their own company Rollover Records which gave them more control over their output and a more generous share of the royalties.

Originally for numbers like Apache for EMI, where they only apparently received a fee for the session, by re-recording the numbers for their new venture Rollover Records, made commercial sense for them, and why not?

So that's how the tracks came to be re-recorded..

When you take into account the original recordings versus these re-recordings, you can see how talented the musicians were the nearly 30 years ago they were when the first recordings such as Apache, The Stranger, etc were made. One cannot leave out the contributions of the recording staff at EMI in the 60's - people like Malcolm Addy and Norrie Paramor who engineered, produced and recorded the music. They helped get the fantastic sound we all know and love from the original recordings.

Going forward to these recordings, they are very well done, the musicianship is very good and close to the originals and does not suffer from 'interpretationitis' a situation where the artist tries to reheat the classic arrangement and the result is disappointing.

These tracks are musically very tight, have the Shadows sound and are very enjoyable. They don't suffer from a band that was good once and is a bit tired now. As we have seen on the FInal Tour(s) the Shadows did as the Shadows and with Cliff, they are still able to hot the mark and sound good.

I heard this album about twelve years ago and I liked it then, even though I've played along with and listened to the original recordings thousands of times, this CD does not disappoint, this is a 'now' age recording and demonstrates that the band can still sound great.
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on 17 January 2015
Disappointed with some of the reviews on this page! Ok everyone is entitled to their opinion of course! For years I listened to the Shadows Greatest Hits, years later I bought the re-recorded album 'At their very best!' In the 60's the tracks were recorded on 4 track machines. 8-trackers coming along later in the 60's and now we have over 100 tracks recorder consoles. The original recordings have a certain ambience about them that only 4-track recording can give them. The re-recording versions were probably recorded with every single instrument on it own track so no bleed over! I personally don't think it's a detriment but of course there's a difference! I enjoy both the original recordings and the 1989 recordings. Seen The Shads live a couple of times, once way back in the 80's when 'Hits right up your street' was out and in 2009 when Cliff & the Shads were doing their world tour! Fantastic! The Shadows will always have a special place in my musical heart alongside The Beatles and The Beach Boys...oh and Cliff! Many others are there too...mainly from the 60's! Very very fine album indeed! Worth buying!
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on 5 January 2013
Some think this is a sanitised or tame version of the original 60s recordings. I have even heard Shadows records described as "supermarket background music"! Well it is if you listen to them on cheap and chearful equipment. But if you've got a half-decent hi-fi system and in particular a good set of headphones give this album another try. Anyone who heard the Shads in concert in the 1980s will tell you they packed quite a punch and the only way to reproduce their true sound is to put on your cans and ramp up the volume! Hank Marvin's stratocaster comes properly to the fore and is a fantastic sound.

I would also recommend headphone listening to Elvis Presley fans. It has been said that in many of his 1970s recordings the king's vocals were drowned in the orchestral overlays but to my ears this is immediately fixed when you switch to headphones and turn up the volume. This is particularly striking with his live recordings. A friend who followed my advice said "now I know what all the fuss was about!" The same goes for the Shadows - take the chance to hear what the stratocaster was really meant to sound like.......

Ted Shepherd
Newcastle upon Tyne
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on 27 September 2015
I was very disappointed with the sound quality of this CD. There is no information on where or when it was actually recorded. Its so bad I had to ask myself " is this really the Shadows?" Doesn't sound like Hank on lead at all.
I then ordered the live CD recorded on the final tour (2004) The difference is amazing - great sound and great guitar playing. This is the CD you need if love the Shadows. More expensive - but its worth it ! What a band !
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Every track here has been re-recorded to the technical standards expected at the time of its release in the 1980s, and although it could be said that an indefinable magic has been lost somewhere, on balance I would have to say I prefer it this way. You would have to be a Shadows aficionado to tell any difference as far as the musical creativity is concerned. Certainly if you listen to music on a good quality hifi system this is the CD to go for.

Whenever I listen to this, it simply makes me feel good. Day or night, whatever the weather, I picture myself driving along in an open-topped car through the country or mountainside, the sun is shining and life is suddenly a whole lot better. Maybe you need to be of (ahem) a 'certain age' to love and appreciate the foot-tapping perfection that is Apache, and the best of them all Wonderful Land, which just makes me wish I could play the guitar as well as Hank Marvin does; I would play it all day long. With a couple of film soundtracks for good measure (Deerhunter and Evita), this is a compilation of tunes all played on a guitar that you want to sing along to, if only there were any words. Sorry, but I just love it.
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